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Instagram boasts more than one billion monthly users. The photo-centric social media platform might not seem like the most obvious choice for financial advisors but many finance professionals have carved out a strong and engaged following there. It’s also one of the few social media platforms that can actually be used for lead generation rather than just raising brand awareness. With that in mind, here are some of the key things to remember when using Instagram for financial advisors.
The demographic of Instagram users does skew younger, with over 60% falling between the ages of 18 and 34 and very few people over the age of 45 on the site. Despite being younger, Instagram users tend to be relatively financially successful. 60% of households earning $100,000 or more per year are on Instagram, as are 46% of households earning $80,000-$100,000 and 55% of households earning $70,000-$80,000.
That means Instagram is a great platform to capture early-career professionals just starting to think about retirement planning; young families trying to navigate college savings plans, and other young adults approaching major life milestones that a financial advisor like you could help with.
Given the younger but financially successful demographics on Instagram, you could try an approach that focuses on educating your audiences on the basics of wealth management and financial planning. Your audience is made up of people who are just starting their adult lives and might be feeling overwhelmed by 401(k)s, IRAs, 529 plans, home insurance, health insurance, and all the other decisions they’re facing for the first time now that they’re earning a real salary.
Posting short videos and helpful graphics that break down these concepts can position you as a trusted source of education and guidance. You might also post content that explains the importance of making sound decisions about these things now—the earlier they start saving for retirement, for example, the less they need to put away each month.
While educational content like that can perform well on the site, it’s worth noting that Instagram users don’t seek out news on the site—a stark contrast from Twitter, where users expect to learn about the latest news and current events. That means you’ll do better focusing on evergreen content: explainers and best practices that are relevant no matter what current market conditions are.
It’s also worth noting that Instagram users are much more open to engage with businesses and make shopping decisions on the platform. About 90% of users follow at least one business account and 50% have used Instagram to discover new brands. As a financial advisor, that means you can use Instagram as a lead generation tool, not just a place to raise brand awareness.
While you still don’t want to make a hard sales pitch here, you could definitely include some charts, videos, or other visuals that showcase what services you offer—and, because it’s a younger audience, explanations on how financial advising can help your audience.
Of course, you are still required to comply with FINRA’s fair and balanced communication rules so be careful about both the language and visuals you use in your posts, especially when talking about your own services.
While you will need to post a few times per day on Instagram, the good news is you don’t need to do too much active management to get results. Social media experts recommend posting just once per day to your feed, along with at least three stories (short videos or slideshows that disappear after 24 hours).
In terms of the time of day, users are generally most active in the mornings (between about 6:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M, so you could schedule your daily post for 8:00-9:00 A.M. and spread your three stories out within that window.
That might sound like a lot, but because the content can be largely focused on basic, evergreen financial education, you could easily outsource content creation to a staff member who can then create batches of content to automate with scheduling tools as they have time—rather than being constantly plugged into the latest trends and events. Then, all you need to do is review those batches for FINRA compliance.
Building an audience on Instagram can be tough in the early stages as users might be skeptical about an account with few followers. However, with time and consistency, the followers will trickle in—especially if a scan of your profile shows that you have a lot of useful and interesting content to offer. Here are some tips for making sure audiences can find you and understand the value your account can offer if they follow you.